Friday, August 12, 2011

Horn's microreviews for you, the diligent consumer - Featurng Summon the Crows, King Giant, Trippy Wicked, Dark Angel, and Wormrot,

So here's the plan:

Recently, reading an article on another site we'll call... Grapefruits Impossible to Perceive With Your Eyes, I came to the worrying conclusion, stolen from said site, that perhaps music criticism is nearly unnecessary in the era of the internet. After all, if you want to judge an artist's music, you just find it on a site and listen for yourself-- you don't need a critic to spare you the financial risk of shelling out for a record you could end up hating.

Then it hit me: what you DO need from critics is enough of a nudge to know what to check out in the first place-- because that's the other side of the double-edged sword of the internet: while you can check out whatever you want, there's roughly a billion more things to check out.

You need less of a critic, and more of a Herald-- one who points you in the right direction and THEN lets you do your own judging.


Here, in tiny/ sound byte/ on-the-go form is what boils down to psychedelic ad copy-- for you to quickly decide if even investigating an album will be worth your time.

Here are a series of shamanistic near-haiku: brief, transient as sand, ephemeral as tea leaves in the bottom of a pint. The visions of one specific seer, to guide your purchases and/or illegal downloads.

Who says the incredible, chaotic, undetermined, endless and eternal can't find niches in a consumerist, material-driven, commodity-based, filthy-lucre society?

So here, then, are your "blasts of leaden verse about leaden riffs, the nitroglycerin shrieks of advertising," in concentrated (i.e., psychically mainlinable) form.

One More for the GallowsSummon the Crows - One More For the Gallows

Very Southern Lord, very Disfear/ Kvertllak/ Nails, but with more snappy songwriting/ usually sounds like a Metallica cassette b-side, i.e., NWOBHM, but without clean singing/ "Trojan Whore" has a great riff at 2:15....

It's a detuned, slightly more modern version of every band Metallica covered on their cassette b-sides, The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited, and Garage, Inc.-- Budgie, Misfits, Diamond Head, Sweet Savage, and most obviously Discharge.

Brief songs, and the whole album's 25 minutes....

"Beasts of the Night" starts so much like "The More I See" you'd almost mistake it for that. But don't mistake the riffs baby. And not "doom" riffs, not Sabbath, but punk/ thrash riffs, downpicked over a groovy 4/4 beat....

Southern DarknessKing Giant - Southern Darkness and Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight's - Movin' On:

Southern rockish, Monster Magnet lite; although "TWatCHofK" get some originality credit: I've never actually heard the musical term for song sections said during the song before-- and during "Not What You Know" we get a scream of "Bridge!!" right before, that's right-- the bridge.

King Giant's "Mississippi River" sounds like Tom Waits on sludge and is worth getting in and of itself.

Darkness DescendsDark Angel - Darkness Descends:

The live version included here of "Perish in Flames" is awesome-- at around 1:00 a second guitar suddenly enters on the left channel, and whether it was intentional or not, it sounds great, as does the longer version of the song. The whole album reminds you what true speed is-- there's a genuine sense of velocity, one that blast beats can't adequately convey; 27 years later, listening to Dark Angel still makes me think, "Fuck, they are fast." And unlike blastibeaty black metal, the vocals here try to keep up with the velocity of the drums, too fast here to even actually sing, they must just speak rudely.... it slows down temporarily, but only to accentuate the speed when it inevitably returns....

DirgeWormrot - Dirge:

"Puckish," not threatening (unlike say Rotten Sound or Phobia), Wormrot are the most together garage band ever, and they fire at you strangely satisfying grindcore in standard tuning: there's a "clean," live, direct sound, one buzzsaw-like, and it makes Wormrot sound like Agnostic Front on the Joker's Smilex toxin... highlight is "Principle of Puppet Warfare," but if you like one, you'll like all. They're really just movements of a long single song. It's almost (more so than other grindcore) thrash metal (which makes sense, seeing as it came from hardcore/punk) gone completely off the rails, coming apart at the seams, like they've gotten going to fast to slow down and they've lost control. Except they never quite do. And despite the velocity and screaming, they sound like they're having fun.

More to come!


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